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San Francisco One Step Closer To Ghost Gun Ban

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File

“Ghost guns” scare the hell out of gun control advocates. It’s because anyone can build them without having permission from the government. That’s why they’re attractive to any number of law-abiding citizens. For some, it’s the thrill of building something, but for others, it’s the fact that it doesn’t show up on any government paperwork. If Uncle Sam decided to come after all the guns, it won’t know you’ve got a couple.

However, some of the people who build “ghost guns” are, in fact, criminals. They’re not a large percentage, but that doesn’t matter. Not to anti-Second Amendment advocates.

For a while now, there’s been a push to try and ban such weapons. In San Francisco, they’re one step closer to doing just that.

San Francisco may soon be the first California city to ban the sale of ghost guns.

A new bill that aims to prohibit the sale of ghost guns in San Francisco unanimously passed during a committee hearing Thursday and will head to the Board of Supervisors for a full vote. Ghost guns are self-made firearms often purchased online without serial numbers.

“There is a massive loophole in California,” said San Francisco Supervisor Catherine Stefani, who authored the bill. “It’s very scary.”

Currently, California law allows vendors to sell dissembled ghost gun kits without a serial number on the basis the purchaser will obtain a serial number from the Department of Justice within ten days of assembling.

“As you can imagine, nobody is doing that,” said Stefani.

And they’re still not going to.

More importantly, this bill is about useless. First, “ghost guns” are already illegal for sale. Without a serial number, it’s illegal to sell a firearm. So there’s no need for a law banning the sale of these types of firearms.

What this appears to actually be is a bill that will ban the sale of kits for building your own firearm. However, that’s only going to go so far. So long as people can buy the incomplete receiver, they’ll be able to build so-called ghost guns.

Oh, they can’t get a kit? No big deal because all the other parts are readily available individually. It might be more of a pain to purchase, but since one can get replacements for their own weapons, they can get all the parts they need to build a gun, too.

In other words, not a lot is going to be accomplished by this.

Of course, it’s not about actually accomplishing anything. For all the doom and gloom about so-called ghost guns, we’re not seeing a lot of hard data showing that homebuilt firearms are somehow representing a significant problem. While we find tons of reports claiming that the issue is getting worse and worse, what we’re not seeing is actual numbers. When we do, we find out that the problem is grossly overstated.

Because of all this doom and gloom, though, we have plenty of people saying we need to do something. They don’t care what, they just want something done. So, anti-Second Amendment lawmakers will be happy to oblige.

Never mind that even without kits or even access to actual gun parts, it’s possible to build an entire gun out of parts you got from the hardware store. And that’s without considering 3D printing. Between those two facts, gun control advocates need to take a step back and recognize that you’re never going to stop the flow of guns, so maybe it’s time to try some other way to stop so-called gun violence.

Then again, it was never really about stopping violence in the first place. It was always about making themselves feel better.

Sep 22, 2021 6:30 PM ET